Adams launches Virtus to perfect record
Virtus Segafredo Bologna finished the 7Days EuroCup Regular Season with a perfect 10-0 record by downing visiting MoraBanc Andorra 92-81 on Tuesday night in a rescheduled Round 8 game between two teams already advanced to the Top 16. The hosts were without star Milos Teodosic, but Josh Adams replaced him in style, drilling 10 of 12 three-pointers to tie for second place all-time for triples made in a EuroCup game. His accuracy from behind the arc helped Virtus keep a slight margin, 49-47, at halftime and establish a double-digit lead early in the fourth period that proved definitive. Adams finished with a career-high 33 points, to which he added 4 rebounds and 2 assists for a performance index rating of 31. Kyle Weems followed him with 18 points, while Amedeo Tessitori posted 15 points and 7 rebounds and Stefan Markovic dished 11 assists for the winners. MoraBanc Andorra dropped to 3-6 and as a result will finish fourth in Group C. The visitors were paced by David Jelinek, who scored his career high with 21 points. Tomasz Gielo, with 10, was the only other Andorra player to reach double figures.
Adams opened fire with a triple that Julian Gamble followed with an inside basket for 5-0 Virtus lead. Andorra's Babatunde Olumuyiwa led a 4-13 response that put the visitors in front, 9-13. Weems and Tessitori started a 12-0 run that Amar Alibegovic and Alessandro Pajola finished from deep as Virtus took charge again, 21-13. Guillem Colom ended the drought for Andorra, as the visitors closed within 23-19 after 10 minutes. Adams made back-to-back triples at 29-23, but but after getting some free throws to drop, Andorra used a zone defense, a layup by Oriol Pauli and a corner three by Jelinek to surge ahead, 30-31. Virtus hit back wit a 10-0 run to 40-31, but Gielo, Sergi Garcia and Jelinek strung together 4 three-pointers to reduce the gap to 49-47 at the half.
Adams and Weems boosted Virtus after the break before a fastbreak layup and a tip-in by Tessitori meant a double-digit advantage, 61-49. Even while Garcia and Colom stayed hot from deep, Markovic fed Weems and Alibegovic before scored a layup himself for a 67-58 Virtus advantage. Nacho Llovet's three-point play and Gielo's triple gave Andorra fresh air, but Vince Hunter and Adams replied with identical plays, respectively, to keep Virtus in front 75-69 entering the last quarter. Adams remained unstoppable from behind the arc with his ninth three-pointer, which came with a free throw, before Awudu Abass extended it to 81-69. But again, Andorra cutting the difference to 83-76 with 5 minutes remaining. After a lull, Tessitori took over inside and Adams fired again from downtown to maintain a safe distance, 92-81, entering the last minute, more than enough for Virtus to seal a perfect regular season.
Josh Adams had a magic night from long range, pouring in 10 three-pointers in just 12 attempts (83.3%). That tied for the most three-pointers ever made in regulation time of a EuroCup Games. Scottie Wilbekin also hit 10 in Game 2 of the 2017-18 semifinals for Darussafaka Istanbul and against FC Bayern Munich, coached that night by current Virtus boss Sasa Djordjevic. The absolute EuroCup record is 11 three-pointers made by Josh Roberson for ASVEL Villeurbanne in a triple-overtime win at Herbalife Gran Canaria on December 27, 2017. On Tuesday, Adams scored Virtus's first points in each quarter. And guess what? All were triples.
Both squads missed several players due to physical problems. The hosts couldn't count on their best performer, Milos Teodosic, while Julian Gamble and Vince Hunter saw limited time. On the other side, Andorra was without Tyson Perez, Malick Dime, Jeremy Senglin, Haukur Palsson and Moussa Diagne.
Andorra will be fourth
The visitors needed a win to keep their hopes of climbing to the third place in the group, as they still have a postponed game to be played against AS Monaco. This loss, however, make them drop to 3-6, as AS Monaco holds a 5-4 record before the game both teams will have to play next week.
Virtus won't return to 7DAYS EuroCup action until the start of the Top 16, scheduled for January 13 next year. Andorra, however, has to play a postponed game from Round 6, on the road against AS Monaco on Tuesday, December 29.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020